Foreign Policy: Taliban leaders steal aid money 

According to the UN, 97% of Afghanistan’s population live in poverty and millions are dependent on aid for survival

The Taliban’s ban on women working for domestic and international NGOs, have once more put humanitarian aid to Afghanistan under the spotlight, with the UN and major international aid agencies, including the International Rescue Committee (IRC), Save the Children and CARE International suspending operations in the country. The group’s decision has faced widespread condemnation from countries and human rights groups. 

Delivering aid to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, with the group’s involvement, has been a contentious issue both inside and outside the country, with complaints that aid does not reach those in need, and that Taliban leaders and commanders divert money and aid packages for their own benefits. 

report by Foreign Policy magazine, published on 30 December 2022, citing sources involved, states that Taliban leaders and commanders have been stealing unknown quantities from the tens of millions of dollars flown into the country, using the money to keep “supporters onside with handouts of cash and food and funding the private operations.”

There have been longstanding complaints about the Taliban prohibiting humanitarian assistance reaching some communities and provinces across Afghanistan.

“The Taliban are observing and managing the money, deciding where it must go, to what people, in which parts of the country,” the former officer said. “The people have no choice. The [Taliban] have no support, especially in the Hazara and Tajik environments in Ghor and Badghis provinces and other remote areas. The U.N. people are Afghans. They have no power to object—they face danger, intimidation, and so do their families. And no one checks later.” In other regions, such as southern provinces where the population is predominantly Sunni Pashtun, like the Taliban, aid goes directly to Taliban families and supporters,” reports Foreign Policy. 

According to the UN, 97% of Afghanistan’s population live in poverty and millions are dependent on aid for survival.